Zim Interview

In this exclusive Music Mondays Interview we sat down with a very talented hidden creative known as Zim. We got the chance to speak on a variety of topics such as some of his influences, collaborators & plans for the future.


Blank: Obviously, most of your released work has been both of us, but I want to ask how you started making music & your early SoundCloud catalog?

Zim: This is tough because there were a lot of factors. I used to listen to a lot of stuff when I was younger like G-Eazy and other more reductive hip hop acts, but when my older brother introduced me to Tyler the Creator in roughly 2011, & then odd future right after it really expanded my love for the genre. Especially with someone like Earl being so close in age to me at the time, it felt more meaningful. Listening and loving that music along with some other names like MF DOOM, Earl & Chester Watson really drove me to want to make my own music. 

Blank: As anyone who heard your most recent feature on Paris Ball’s new album From Paris, With Love knows, you and Paris have great chemistry. How did that relationship start?

Zim: Me and Paris have been best friends since about 2nd grade and he was always super talented. Actually, my first ever song on SoundCloud (Invader Zim) was produced by Paris who had recently got a MacBook and got into producing. From there, he finally started to sing & create with his talent and we both just gravitated towards working together. One thing Paris is really good at is creating hooks, which is extremely helpful for creating ideas for tracks. We can just be listening to something & he’ll come up with a hook & the rest is easy for us. 

Blank: So, for those unaware, me and Zim released a collaborative project named Movies at Midnight in November last year. I know what the creation was like for me, but what was your experience?

Zim: You know, surprisingly I felt a lot of pressure. It was a smooth process, you made things really easy both in terms of workflow and the beats, but I felt a need to prove myself. It was my first time collaborating with someone and putting music out on streaming, and I had just started to gain a bit of a following on twitter. So, while I’m really happy with how things turned out, in the moment it caused me a bit of anxiety. 

Blank: What was the most unique experience you had with creating a track on Movies at Midnight

Zim: I would say probably End Credits or I-91. End Credits felt like nothing was really clicking, so I just ended up turning off the beat and just writing what I had felt at the moment. Once I had finished the verse, I spit it over the beat, and it just sounded perfect and ended up being one of my favorite tracks on the album. I-91 was just a really different kind of beat then I had been experienced with creating on. I came from writing on a lot of stuff with soul samples and that’s what I really fell in love with, so to tackle something so different presented a challenge. If it had been a beat in a random pack, I don’t know whether I would have picked it or not, but I'm happy with how it took me out of my comfort zone. I also definitely have to mention Catwalk, and S/O to Mosa on the hook, that track ended up being really great and the hook he spit was infectious. All my friends love the track, and I would occasionally hear them singing the hook to themselves.

Blank: Who are some of your favorite collaborators, or just people in the scene that you listen to?

Zim: I’ll start with rappers and then go into producers because there is a lot for both. First, I have to mention Backwood Brad. He has such a unique sound & his voice fits perfectly over almost anything I’ve heard him on. His versatility as a rapper is pretty inspiring. Mosa and Jin obviously, I mean those are probably 2 of my favorite rappers’ hands down right now. Sometimes I get upset that they aren’t receiving the recognition and buzz they deserve because they really are insane. I’ve been listening to a lot of Wesley Rocco and Jonny Farias as well, they’re both so consistently great it’s hard not to tune in. I’ve also been listening to the new Klwn Cat & Unruly track with Estee Nack, that’s been on repeat like 24/7 recently. Lungs is also incredibly talented, and his projects have been on repeat recently. On to producers, Skel Beats is easily one of my favorites right now. I mean the level he’s producing at both on the album we're working on and just in general is inspiring. Lunar has made some of my favorite albums to come out of this scene recently, such as Floydberg and Tread Lightly with Nonazz. Midnight Samurai is also someone I definitely want to work with, as his sound and production is the type of stuff that made me fall in love with beats. 

Blank: Now as you know, we’ve been working on a solo album for you for quite some time now. What should people expect?

Zim: I’m hoping for a lot of variation and versatility. There’s a bunch of different opportunities for me sound wise & I’m just hoping to capitalize and make something that has tracks and sounds for everyone. I’m hoping to keep the lyrical tone light, though I do feel that some of my best music comes when I get personal, so it’ll be about that balance for me. I’m actually about to take a couple days off and just power through recording some stuff, so you should be getting some stuff from me soon.

Blank: If you could have one feature on your album who would it be, and what track would it be on. 

Zim: The first one that comes to mind is this track I produced myself, and the only person I can hear on it is Mosa. I’m gonna be reaching out to him with it soon, so hopefully we can make that happen. I also think it would be really interesting to incorporate no god somewhere on the album, I enjoy his style a lot. 

Blank: What are some of your favorite beats you have picked out for this?

Zim: Skel Beats sent me something we're gonna use for a posse cut that I think is insane. Parth (the producer of 73 dinner date) also laced me with one of my favorite beats. That track practically wrote itself from the moment I heard it. I also really like 2 of the beats you sent me and I’m really excited to rap on them. 

Blank: After this album, what are some of your future music plans?

Zim: Honestly, there’s not a whole lot. This album is a pretty big undertaking, so other than this I just have two EPs planned for the moment. Me and Paris have a couple tracks done on our project & are looking to finish that up and release it. I also want to try my hand at self-producing an EP for myself & doing something completely just me. I think that could be a really cool opportunity to take me out of my comfort zone. Later this year or maybe next though, you and I got something cool in the pipeline, so I’m excited to see how that turns out. 

Blank: You had a verse on the track I wonder what it’s like to die, on my recent project. How was that experience for you?

Zim: I mean you hit me up pretty last minute for it, but once I heard the track I definitely understood why. Subject matter wise, it was a well I tap into pretty frequently and had some real artistic merit. TreDoes & Rap Man Gavin also did incredibly well, and they really set the tone for the level of penmanship on the track. 

Blank: Anything else you would like to say?

Zim: A Big shoutout to Mosa, Jin, Wesley, Jonny, Skel, Lunar and 1takejack. You guys inspire me and my music and I appreciate the art that you have put out. Keep your eye out for what’s coming later this year & I appreciate everyone involved both in supporting and creating what’ll be my upcoming album, it does not go unnoticed. 

Follow Zim: linktr.ee/zimlbmg 

Written By Blank Thought: linktr.ee/b1ankthought 

Edited By Zomb Slays: linktr.ee/ZombSlays